January 23, 2014

It was a slow period for retail sales over the past week, with some bouts of abnormal seasonal weather curbing the consumers' appetite to shop.

As a result of that lack of motivation to shop, weekly retail sales decreased (-1.9%) for the week ending on January 18, 2014, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis the pace of sales also continued to slow to 0.9%

"Traditionally January is a clearance month for retailers, however, even with widespread sales incentives consumers held back their spending this past week," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "As the industry heads into the final weeks of January and the fiscal year for most retailers, the snowstorm in the East will likely curb sales in the coming week,"added Niemira.

For the month of January as a whole, ICSC Research forecasts that monthly comparable-store sales will increase by between 3.0% and 3.5% over last year, just slightly under the December increase.